Debt Resistance in the UK: Event 2

Debt Resistance: A seminar for analysis and action (Saturday 23rd November 2013, London).

A full day seminar with George Caffentzis and others to bring together activists and academics, campaigners and theorists, to examine debt and resistance in the UK and around the world. An opportunity to deepen analysis of debt, create links, and investigate strategies for action.

Debt is increasingly important in shaping our economy and our personal lives. Moralised obligations to pay financial debt are a potent disciplinary tool at the national and personal levels, legitimising austerity across Europe and demonising individual ‘debtors’. The cycle of debt and austerity is repeating in Europe processes experienced for decades in the Global South. In the UK, national debt is used to legitimate austerity policies, PFI debt is used to pursue neoliberal policies such as NHS privatisation and marketisation, whilst sale of the student loan book threatens a hike in interest rates on repayments and an entrenching of graduate indebtedness.

What role does debt – private and public, ‘personal’ and corporate – play in the UK economy, and what do these debts mean for crisis ‘recovery’? How do we peel back the layers of myth to uncover the true picture of debt? Can drawing the connections between different types of debt provide a good analytical umbrella for economic justice struggles across the UK? Could a more radical and/or potent analysis than ‘austerity isn’t working’ emerge from this? And what strategies are opened to resist debt and its discipline?

An opportunity to hear from George Caffentzis: a retired Professor of Philosophy at South Maine University. He is a member of Strike Debt (US) and was a founding member of the Midnight Notes Collective. He has written many essays and books on money including Clipped Coins, Abused Words and Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money. His latest book is In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines and the Crisis of Capitalism.

Johnna Montgomerie is a lecturer at Goldsmiths University and an affiliate with the Centre for Research into Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). Her research interests include household debt (mortgage, student loans, consumer credit, payday lending) and its relationship to Anglo-American financialisation, especially in the context of never-ending crisis and the new Age of Austerity.

This Debt Resistance seminar will brought together people involved in a variety of debt-focused or related struggles: from European debt audit campaigners, to UK students fighting sale of the student loan book, NHS campaigners fighting privatisation linked to PFI debts. It will also be an opportunity to hear about Strike Debt strategies from the USA.

Speakers include:
George Caffentzis
Johnna Montgomerie (Goldsmiths University)
Christina Laskaridis (Greek Debt Audit Campaign)
Caroline Molloy (ourNHS)
Michael Chessum (National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts)



George Caffentzis and Johnna Montgomerie, followed by Q&A and discussion


Christina Laskaridis (Greek Debt Audit Campaign); Caroline Molloy (ourNHS); Michael Chessum (National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts); Jonathan Stevenson (Jubilee Debt Campaign)


Break-out Groups For Discussion & Strategy


Break-out Groups Feedback & Where Next?